It’s no fun getting one major zit, or the teeny tiny red itchy ones that always come in groups, and most especially if the breakout is a bunch of majoooor zits that come in groups, hungry for havoc.
But did you know that as with many things in life, there are certain classifications for the zits that grow on your face (and elsewhere on the bod? Bacne sisters where ya at?)
Into The Gloss breaks it down:
They’re exactly what they sound like: packs of buildup that sit on top of your skin, comprised of sebum and dead skin cells in a tiny, easily scratch-able white bubble. But if you want to get all Dr. Sandra Lee (the Dr. Pimplepopper herself) on us, a whitehead can be called a closed comedo, with all types of pimples technically starting out as comedones.
Whiteheads count as pimples, and unfortunately will show up on people with oily skin more frequently. But with gentle chemical exfoliation and thorough cleansing of the skin, they can be kept at bay.
Kind of like a blackhead, but with oxidization. Blackheads are ‘open’ comedos, which means that oxygen gets into the pore and makes the sebum, bacteria, and skin cell buildup a darker color.
The good news is you can treat it the same way with whiteheads, and we always love a good clay mask to suck those puppies out.
A small, red bump on the skin that often part of a grouping, papules are a lot more painful that white or blackheads, but not as bad as nodules or cystic acne.
There are drying lotions and spot treatments specifically for this type of acne though, huzzah!
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There’s something about this word that comes across as scientific yet basement-lab-of-horrors at the same time, don’t you think?
It’s a zit that has come to a head, forming a white, pus-filled bubble on top, with the difference from a whitehead being that it’s inflamed and full of pus, while a whitehead is just a plugged hair follicle, ITG notes.
You can very likely pop it and it’s unlikely to leave you with a scar, but to help draw the infection to the surface, you could try wetting a clean washcloth with hot water and holding it to the spot. Once you’ve popped it or allowed it to mature (yum) and explode (yummier) on its own, it’s time to bust out the protective pimple patches to draw more of the yuckies out, while keeping bacteria away.
Like one of those aliens on AvP, cystic acne lies in wait deep within the skin, emerging only as a painful, visible bump underneath the skin’s surface. As if that’s not worse as it is, cystic acne can still block pores, and when that happens, it can lead to infection and misery.
What causes cystic acne? Hormones are the primary culprit, and you have three combat options:
1) Keep the area clean, 2) Chemically exfoliate, and 3) Fight the infection with professionally applied cortisone injections from your dermatologist, or slather on an anti-bump solution twice a day. If you get it frequently, there are also ingestible medications for it.
One of the most severe forms of acne, nodules form a hard bump deep within the skin and it can feel painful at the surface. They aren’t like cysts that are filled with pus, and they don’t turn red. In fact, the bump can match your skin tone!
They can take weeks to go away, and you’d need intensive treatments like antibiotics and other oral medications.